Low Incidence Disabilities (Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities…
Low Incidence Disabilities
Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities (ID)
Student is able to function in normal daily life with no defining characteristics of any disability physically, but is slower than the typical student.
Comprises only about 3% of all people with disabilities.
Students need supervision in social settings.
Difficulty in communcaiting but can understand speech.
IQ: 20 -34
Able to learn daily routines and some habits for taking care of themselves.
Low probability of the individual living on their own.
Noticeable difficulties with speech and motor skills.
Students are able to communicate in simple ways
Students are able to spend time alone and to even travel alone long distances
Developmental problems in all areas.
Obvious signs of physical differences.
Requires close supervision at all times and cannot live on their own.
IQ: 20 and lower
Strategies for Students in the classroom:
General Observation and Practices:
Keep close contact with guardians and parents
Guided therapy and meetings with School Counselors or Psychologists.
One-to-one Personalized Instruction whenever possible.
Addressing Students on the subjects of self-care and hygiene, social situations, concepts of time, and community. These skills which are outside school subjects are important for the student to be able to learn in a classroom environment.
Breaking everything into small steps.
Give clear instruction that is broken down into stages.
Check in on students at every stage to see if they are comprehending.
Students work to master the small steps of the task so that it becomes a routine before they can move onto larger complex tasks.
Work in small groups
Give praise or positive feedback as rewards.
Verbal and physical prompts are necessary.
Use a variety of resources: technological as well as "raw" materials that can provide a link to real life and home.
Direct work with therapists, counselors and/or doctors. Most of these children will not be able to be in a normal classroom setting unless monitored.
Use visual aids to help students understand what is expected of them
(i.e. charts, graphs, and pictures)
Provide direct and immediate feedback. Students with ID require immediate feedback and a delay makes it difficult to connect cause and effect
Have students take a hands-on approach to learning. Students with ID learn best when information is concrete and observed.
Claiborne, Loretta (2012, Dec.) "Let's Talk about Intellectual Disabilities" [Video] TedXTalks.
Retrieved on Oct. 3, 3018 from
Let's Talk about Intellectual Disabilities
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Strategies for Students in an Inclusive Classroom
Reduce distractions in the students work area
Dividing work into small sections
Ask the student to summarize information
Use cue words to alert the student and gain attention
Establish nonverbal cueing system for student
Have the student sit near the teacher
Teach in small groups
Frequently repeat information and summarize it
Give the student an assignment sheet to be filled out in each class
Teach the student to categorize information
Provide expeiiential presentations of instructional materials
Teach the stident to use post it notes, calendars, and assignment books as self reminders
Give additional time for review
Provide students with outlines based on class lectures
Color code class materials
Allow students to help plan a class activity or event
Have a written checklist for complex tasks. Provide instructions for completing those tasks
Provide oral and written directions
Ask the student to repeat directions back to the teacher or classmate
Highlight significant parts of directions or assignments
Slow down the instructional pace
Rewrite complex directions into simple tasks
Verbally praise and encourage the student frequently
Select a meaningful goal or skill that the student will need to present at their level
Being Flexible and Creative in Helping Children with TBI Navigate School
Many symptoms are also common with other disabilities
Shows difficulty concentrating
Has trouble processing information
Has difficulty juggling multiple tasks
Student is dazed or in a fog
Student is disoriented and/or confused
Student is irritable and easily angered
Student seems depressed and has a decrease in motivation
Student does not understand social interactions or has social withdrawals
Fatigue and sleep disturbance
Weakness and changes in balance
Changes in hearing and vision
(2011, Dec.) "Identifying TBI: A Teacher's Role" [Video] Brainline. Retieved on Oct. 4, 2018
Many Students are not appropriately identified for accommodations
Students in Specialized Environments
Class enrollment and expectations should be based on current students academic performance rather than previous
Students should be given time to relearn concepts and regain skills
Provided with external devices to compensate for organization, motor, and memory deficits
Computers, tablets, and smartphones
Voice recorders and organizers
Wearable technology (i.e. specialized watches)
Michael Wight and Elementary School After TBI
Should be provided with additional, necessary support
Special Education Teacher
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Strategies for students in an Inclusive Classroom:
Use the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Method in the classroom:
Rewarding students with praise.
Consistent Positive Reinforcement
Determine a list of goals for the student to complete every week or month.
Give instruction in small, short steps that are easily understood.
Use the method of "antecedent- behavior-consequence" to help students understand that they will be praises and rewarded for positive behavior.
Avoid using sarcasm and metaphorical language as that will be misunderstood.
Use Visual Aids : Children with ASD often EXCEL with visual learning.
Students with ASD learn better visually. Support students with graphs, pictures, charts.
Don't give only oral instruction. Students with ASD also need to see information written out.
Give a visual schedule within your lesson time:
Write out the day's lesson schedule (What students will do in the lesson, what books and materials they will need) on the board.
Use a visual timer on the board or have a clock where the student can see it to gauge the time.
Have the student make a checklist for the day or lesson and mark off every task he/she completes as they do it.
Apply Scaffolding Whenever Possible:
Give initial instruction using clear and concise directions. Repeat several times until slowly students can do the activity on their own
Give Regular Feedback
Assess students' progress on a daily basis.
Give praise and positive feedback at each milestone point.
Give Breaks as Rewards:
[Dealing With Anxiety in School](
Real Look Autism (2011, Apr.) "Anxiety in School" [Video]. Retrieved on Oct. 1, 2018 from
Work with one-on-one teacher aids when possible
In cases where schools provide aids or teachers' assitants, these students are given the opportunity to have one on one instruction and guidance while still being a part of the class as a whole.
Create a Calm Classroom Environment:
Educate and Inform the School:
Supporting Autistic Students in an Inclusion Environment
Learn NC (2015, Mar.) "Supporting Autistic Students in and Inclusion Environment". [Video] Retrieved on Oct. 1, 2018 from
Here is an example of how the Special Education Department gave a lesson to all teachers so that everyone could recognize students who needed special instruction and could help during potential student anxiety "meltdowns".
Students in specialized environments:
BiziBoxTV (2011, Apr.) "Janus Academy-Calgary Specialized School for Children with Autism." [Video]. Retrieved on Oct. 2, 2018 from
Edutopia (2017, May). "The Sensory Room: Helping Students with Autism Focus and Learn." [Video]. Retrieved on Oct. 2, 2018 from
Programs implementing educational programs that are specifically for children with ASD are becoming more accepted.
Focus on 'sensory rooms and boxes', spaces filled with stimulating objects and items.
Personalized teacher instruction
Often times one-to-one instruction
specified goal charts and program plans designed to each child
collaboration with parents
Many children with ASD show no to little signs
Hard to Detect
Early Signs (6-24 months):
Limited eye contact
Minimal sounds/verbal communication
Minimal facial expressions, smiles
No response to human movements (i.e. waving hands in the child's face)
Minimal use of language and words
Child prefers to be alone
refusal to make eye contact
Repetition of words or noises
Repetition of body movements (rocking back and forth, flapping hands, etc.)
Dislike of change or anything that interrupts a routine
Severe reactions to sensory items (sounds, bright lights, smells)